Caring for your parents is an emotional and stressful time. In addition to these anxieties, there are huge financial obligations that accompany caring for your aging parents.
Nursing Homes. Around the clock care in a nursing home is very expensive. Costs for nursing home care will vary widely depending on your location and the quality of the facility. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the average cost per day is $229 (or $6,965 per month).
Assisted Living Facilities. Some aging parents might not require 24/7 care. They may be able to live somewhat independently with assistance for meals and medication. In an assisted living facility, staff will regularly check on your parents but allow them to maintain their typical daily routines. Average costs for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility are $3,293 per month.
Home Health Aide. If your parents want to (and are able to) stay in their current home for as long as possible, then they may benefit from a home health aide. The aides usually work in shifts of two to four hours. You can schedule visits as often or as little as you want. The average cost for a home health aide is $21 per hour. The price is generally higher on weekends and holidays.
Adult Day Services. If you provide most of the long-term care for your aging parents, then you may want to consider adult day services. These services will help monitor your parents while you are away at work. Typical costs for an adult day health care center average $67 per day.
Medicare Premiums. If your parents are enrolled in Medicare, you may be paying more than $3,000 a year in premiums. However, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates the average cost of a hospital stay is $2,000 per day, so you will quickly meet your deductible if your parent must go to the hospital.
Supplemental Insurance. Because Medicare does not cover everything, many people supplement their coverage with private health insurance. Monthly health insurance premiums can range from $161-213, depending on where you live and how much coverage you have. Private, full-coverage health insurance can cost as much as $10,000-17,000 a year in premiums.
Prescription Costs. The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists reports that a senior between the ages of 64 and 69 takes an average of 14 prescriptions per year while a senior 80 to 84 takes 18 prescriptions per year. The cost for prescriptions will vary widely depending on your parents’ conditions. With so many prescriptions, though, the costs can add up fast. In addition, many seniors require over-the-counter medication, glasses, hearing aids, walkers, adult diapers, and other medical supplies.
Non-Medical Expenses. There may be non-medical expenses involved with your parents’ long-term care. For example, there may be moving expenses if you parents needs to live closer to you or you to them. If you decide to have your parent live with you, then there may be home modification costs involved to make your home more accessible. Also, you may miss work because you are caring for your parents.
Obviously there are numerous costs and factors to consider when caring for your aging parents. However, there is financial assistance available through programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Veteran’s Affairs, and long-term care insurance. One of our attorneys would be happy to help you with asset reallocation and long-term planning so your parents can be well cared for as long as they need.